- Published on Friday, 17 August 2012 01:41
- Written by DAILY NEWS Reporter
- Hits: 838
PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has insisted that his government was still committed to bring into the country one of the Spain’s La Liga clubs, and has requested newly appointed Spanish Ambassador to Tanzania to help fulfill that mission.
Kikwete made the remarks at the State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday, shortly after he received credentials of the newly appointed Spain Ambassador to Tanzania, Luis Manuel Cuesta Civis.
“Spanish teams especially Real Madrid and Barcelona have huge fan base in Tanzania, and I believe most would love to see one of the teams they support make a tour of the country and play one or two friendly matches with local teams here and visit our famous National Parks,” said Kikwete.
The president also lauded Spain for successfully defending the EURO title, during the tournament jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine in July, this year. “We congratulate Spain for being the first nation in history of EURO to retain the trophy. You won 2008 EURO title and went ahead to win the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, capping it up with a fine performance to win the EURO 2012,” Kikwete said.
In July 2007, Tanzania made an attempt to bring into the country Spain giants Real Madrid on President Jakaya Kikwete’s invitation, unfortunately the deal did not go through. The expected Real’s tour was in line with the president’s stated mission to popularise soccer and take Tanzania to the top.
He extended the invitation to Real Madrid when he visited Spain. Real’s visit was to be used as part of the celebrations to open Dar es Salaam’s new Olympic standard 60,000-capacity National Stadium. Since coming into power in 2005, President Kikwete has personally been undertaking efforts to rebuild the country’s soccer, which has been in decline for over two decades.
His first move was to direct the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) to appoint a qualified foreign coach. TFF assented and Brazillian Marcio Maximo was employed to coach the national team.
In another indication of its seriousness about rebuilding soccer in the country, the government paid for the national team’s visit to Brazil February 2007. This followed Maximo’s request for a tour of his home country.